UK: ‘Al-Qaeda operative’ can stay in UK despite posing threat, judge rules
So, this guy who planned to kill Britons has won the right to stay on in Britain because he may be “tortured” should he return to Pakistan. Who cares what happens to you? You lost your right to any human sympathy when you chose to go to the dark side. Not such a big man are you without your bombs? Britain – you need to grow some. How many of your citizens are you going to scrape from the pavement because of this decision?
The leader of an al-Qaeda terrorist cell that plotted a bomb atrocity in Britain will not be deported after a tribunal ruled that his human rights would be breached if he were ill treated by Pakistan’s security services.
Abid Naseer, 24, was one of 12 men — ten of them Pakistanis on student visas — arrested last year during counter-terrorism raids in Manchester and Liverpool. A judge rejected his claims of innocence yesterday, describing him as “an al-Qaeda operative who posed and still poses a serious threat to the national security of the United Kingdom”.
Mr Justice Mitting said that although it was “conducive to the public good that he should be deported” this was not possible because of the risk that he would suffer torture at the hands of Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI).
Police raided properties in northwest England last April after an intercepted e-mail sent by Mr Naseer to an al-Qaeda associate in Pakistan suggested that terrorists planned an attack within days. The raids were rushed forward after secret papers about Operation Pathway were accidentally made public when Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, of the Metropolitan Police, was photographed in Downing Street holding the documents. He resigned, but Gordon Brown said the operation had foiled “a very big terrorist plot”.
A parliamentary inquiry was later held after The Times revealed that eight of them had enrolled as students at a bogus college set up as a front for a mass immigration fraud. Manchester College of Professional Studies, which had two classrooms and three teachers, claimed to have 50 students but had secretly enrolled 1,797 foreigners.
Eight of the ten detainees returned voluntarily to Pakistan. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled yesterday that Mr Naseer and Ahmed Faraz Khan, 26, both still in Britain, were involved in the terrorist plot but granted their appeals over “the issue of safety of return”. A third man, Shoaib Khan, 31, who had been deported to Pakistan, won his appeal and can now apply to return to Britain.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was disappointed by the ruling. The Home Office had argued that the detainees who chose to return to Pakistan had not been held by the ISI and had not come to any harm. “As the court agreed, they are a security risk to the UK. We are now taking all possible measures to ensure they do not engage in terrorist activity.”
After their release, the two men are expected to be placed on control orders or under police surveillance.
Mr Naseer came to Britain in 2006 to study at John Moores University, Liverpool, but dropped out after a week and enrolled at Manchester College of Professional Studies.